Warshafsky Gets Counseling Center to Pay Children for Loss of Mother
Wrongful Death Attorneys Prove Negligence of Therapists
The counseling session was intense. Greg told counselors he was so angry about the breakup with his former girlfriend Mary he was planning to kill her and then himself.
The counselors believed themselves to be bound by the sanctity of patient-counselor confidentiality. They told no one, not Mary or even the police. Instead, they referred Greg to a private psychotherapist without taking action.
A month later in her Sussex, Wisconsin apartment, Mary and her two young children (a 4-year-old and 6-year-old) were relaxing, enjoying the unseasonably warm Spring weather. They were looking forward to a summer of fun. Suddenly, the front window was shattered. Their lives were shattered, too. Greg, her former boyfriend, crashed through the window with a 12-gauge shotgun. In front of the two terrified little children, he killed Mary before turning the weapon on himself.
Milwaukee's top wrongful death attorneys were needed.
Law Firm Proves Murder of Woman Should Have Been Prevented
The crime was horrific. The legal issues of this case were just as disturbing. Warshafsky personal injury law firm pursued a suit against the counseling center and its therapists. Our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys successfully argued the counseling center and therapists had an ethical obligation to warn the victim or contact the police when a credible murder threat was made.
The center and its therapists refused to acknowledge their own negligence. However, they settled out of court with $1 million for the two children. The director of the counseling center stated publicly all therapists were more likely to involve the police sooner if a client expressed suicidal or homicidal ideas.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
The one million dollar settlement could not compensate for the horror these children witnessed. No amount of money could make up for the loss of their mother. However, the settlement amount of this case was surely enough to care for the children and send them to college. Without their mother, the traumatized children were reunited with their father to begin a long and difficult healing process.
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Case Forces Counseling Professionals to Change
The case tested the limits of a counselor-patient confidentiality agreement. Now when threats of murder are made, counseling centers throughout Wisconsin are compelled to reconsider confidentiality agreements. The case reverberated throughout the nation. Many clinics established new protocols for confidentiality agreements.
The Milwaukee personal injury attorneys of Warshafsky Law have earned an outstanding reputation for achieving Society Changing Judgments. In this case, the settlement was far more than just a financial payout. It was a wakeup call to all counseling centers and therapists – throughout Wisconsin and beyond. No longer are counselors obligated to keep quiet when a client expresses intent to kill someone. Just as important, clients can no longer talk about their plans to commit murder without the possibility of police involvement.